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Is There a Difference in Sense of Community Between Middle and High School Male and Female Students in an International School in Saudi Arabia?

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Though private higher education has been common worldwide for many decades, it was only in 1998 that the first such institutions were permitted to open in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Also, there are few works on Saudi private higher education. The public sector was found to fall short in meeting quantitative and qualitative demands for higher education. The demand on higher education has been beyond the capacity of the public sector. Stakeholders perceive differences between public and private higher education.

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More recently Saudi Arabian women have been labeled as homemakers, irrespective of their educational backgrounds, career interests, and qualifications. The professional world only slightly accommodates for their interests, as women are largely restricted to teaching and social work positions in all-female settings (Al Rawaf & Simmons, 1991). The true purpose of academia is to prepare citizens for productive lives, but Saudi society blatantly ignores women’s contributions to the advancements of humanity. Women deserve independence not only in education but also in every other opportunity for life improvement. Unfortunately, educational philosophy favors the gender binary, and society avoids change with a constant implementation of institutionalized norms. Today, Saudi Arabian women are relentlessly pursuing higher education; their transformational efforts would be even more worthwhile if the government was inclined to help them.

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In Saudi Arabia, no transnational institutions exist yet, as no foreign ownership is allowed - unlike in many countries where ownership by foreign individuals is permitted, Saudi Arabian law requires that there be at least five partners acting jointly as owners. A company may also be an owner.This complexity in forms of ownership and in legal Saudi Arabia is heavily conditioned by regulation and control. The extent of control which Saudi government has on the sector is discussed throughout the following chapters. As Levy has written (1986a), the status of legal ownership does not reveal how the institution actually functions. He has shown that in many cases private higher education institutions are found to be less autonomous than their public counterparts, which are completely funded by the government. Pachuashvili (2011) also explains how in a post-communist setting, legally defined non-profit and profit-making private institutions can hardly be differentiated as both of them rely mainly on tuition fees, and have a market orientation.

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To sum up, various actions done by the Amnesty International USA of helping these vulnerable women in Saudi Arabia was to create awareness to people all over the world about how are they being treated. They even urge readers to send in appeals to the Head of Election Committee and the Ministry of Interior to help these women. “Write to the Head of the Election Committee and the Minister of Interior, calling for women in Saudi Arabia to be given their basic fundamental right to universal suffrage without delay.” (Amnesty International USA, 2004 November)

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Astin, A. W. and Inouye, C. J. (1988). 'How public policy at the state level affects private higher education institutions'. Economics of Education Review, 7 (1), 47-63.

Barrie, S. C. (2004). 'A research based approach to generic graduate attributes policy'. Higher Education Research and Development, 23 (3), 261-275.

Levy, D. (1986a). Higher education and the state in Latin America : private challenges to public dominance. Chicago X London: University of Chicago Press.

Niblock, T. and Malik, M. (2007). The political economy of Saudi Arabia: Taylor & Francis.

Pachuashvili, M. (2011). 'Governmental Policies and Their Impact on Private HigherEducation Development in Post-Communist Countries: Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania and Georgia, 1990²2005'. Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice, 13 (4), 397-410.

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Is There a Difference in Sense of Community Between Middle and High School Male and Female Students in an International School in Saudi Arabia?
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